4 Lessons Marketers Can Learn from Local TV News Reporters

This post was initially published on BostInnovation on July 28, 2011. To read the original post there, click here. Today – thanks to social media, smartphones and other new digital communications platforms and tools – what the savviest of consumers are asking of their favorite brands is almost as much as they’d expect from

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The Importance of LinkedIn Recommendations

Given my outgoing personality, my obsession with the latest news and the fact that I’ve always been an early adopter of new communications tools, it’s no surprise that I’ve been enamored with social media from the get-go. I can’t tell you how excited I was to launch my own blog in early 2004, where I’ve written nearly

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10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Parts 1-10

If you’ve been reading this blog for the last few months, you know I’ve been writing a series of posts on copywriting. Similar to the approach I took with my series on social media, I’ve looked at copywriting from a 30,000-foot level, focusing on the principles you need to be mindful of if you want to

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10 Ways to Succeed in Social Media, Parts 1-10

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you already know about the  “10 Ways to Succeed in Social Media” series of posts I started writing on January 13 of this year and recently concluded on April 5. But what you wouldn’t know is how much I’ve been looking forward to stringing these posts together into one

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The Importance of Character in Social Media

By now, most people involved in marketing, advertising and PR have put aside any skepticism they may have had about social media and are using such online communications vehicles as blogs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to reach out to and engage with others. They’re finally realizing that – as I’ve said before here on this

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Twitter Guide to Newspapers, Magazines, TV and Radio Stations in the Boston Area

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Twitter Guide to Newspapers, Magazines, TV and Radio Stations in the Boston Area
Okay, native Bostonians — and those of you, like me, who are truly, madly, deeply in love with this wicked cool city — step right up. This guide’s for you.

Of course, you don’t need me to tell you that there are countless ways to stay enlightened, educated and entertained via traditional media around this town. You know the drill. You know which newspapers and magazines to read. You know which TV and radio stations to tune into when you want to catch up or chill out.

But do you know where those very same publishers and disseminators of content live on Twitter? Do you know their handles? Do you know what they’re saying and sharing in 140 characters or less?

That’s why I put together this guide. It’s designed to help you find, follow and engage with some of the most popular Boston-area media outlets on Twitter.

You can follow any of the individual accounts below. Just click the buttons. You can read their latest tweets in the embedded stream beneath the buttons. Or you can subscribe to the entire list — yes, the whole kit and caboodle in one fell swoop — on Twitter here.

Newspapers

 

Magazines

 

TV Stations

 

Radio Stations

 

Note: This post, “Twitter Guide to Newspapers, Magazines, TV and Radio Stations in the Boston Area,” was originally published on the Overdrive Interactive blog on May 30, 2014. To read the post there, click here.

The Buzz on Twitter about the 2014 Boston Marathon

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20140412_163310-680x240It’s not only the oldest annual marathon in the world, held on the third Monday of April, it’s one of the most popular road races of any distance among runners and spectators alike. It’s the legendary Boston Marathon, a 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston that began in 1897.

This year, of course, there is likely more attention being given to the Boston Marathon than any other year in its storied history. Understandably so. The 2013 Boston Marathon was tragically marred by two bomb explosions near the finish line that killed three spectators and injured over 200 others. This year, there will be 36,000 official entrants in the marathon and more emotions wrapped up in the event than ever.

What’s being said about the 2014 Boston Marathon on Twitter? Plenty. From the sponsors to the media, the runners to the fans, it seems everyone is weighing in on the marathon this year and counting down the days until April 21.

Here (below) are just some of the tweets I have seen about the event recently…

P.S. By the way, I’ll be updating this custom timeline frequently between now and sometime after the completion of the marathon, so don’t hesitate to check back often for the latest buzz.


Note: This post, “The Buzz on Twitter about the 2014 Boston Marathon,” was originally published on the Overdrive Interactive blog on April 13, 2014. To read the post there, click here.

Three Good Reasons to Tag Others in Tweets

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TAG
Years ago, before I was to deliver a farewell address at my last meeting as president of an industry trade group, a friend gave me some advice I remember to this day.

Mention lots of people in your speech, he told me. Name names. The more people, the better.

I couldn’t have agreed more. I took his advice to heart and rattled off as many names as possible. I thanked people for their help. I acknowledged them for their contributions. It felt good to be singing their praises.

20130404_132843Dale Carnegie certainly would have approved. After all, one of his “Six Ways to Make People Like You” in his classic book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” is to “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

I think of my friend’s advice – and Dale Carnegie’s book – when I write tweets, too. People like to both hear and see their names. In person. In print. And on Twitter.

Here are three good reasons to tag others – that is, to include their Twitter handles – in your own tweets.

1. It’s good form. You don’t want to talk too much about yourself on Twitter. You want to be a good conversationalist and pay attention to others. Ask people about their backgrounds and interests. Praise them for their accomplishments. Thank them for their feedback. Share third-party content more than your own, giving credit where credit’s due by tagging the author and source whenever possible.

2. It’s more credible. Some people are hesitant to click on a link if they don’t know its origin. Adding “via,” “from,” or “by” and a Twitter handle when you’re promoting other people’s content builds both trust and respect among your followers as well as those whom you tag.

3. It’s often reciprocated. One good deed leads to another. It’s the golden rule. Mention someone’s name on Twitter and chances are you’ll receive a reply. Tagging others in your tweets is not only the right thing to do, it’s a smart thing to do. It leads to more engagement, more followers and more influence over time.

Note: This post, “Three Good Reasons to Tag Others on Twitter,” was originally published on the Overdrive Interactive blog on February 11, 2014. To read the post there, click here.

I’m Proud to Be Running the Boston Marathon for Christopher’s Haven

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The 2014 Boston Marathon will be extra special for me. The victims of last year’s bombings will be on my mind every step of the way, but so will the kids who stay at Christopher’s Haven, “a home for kids when cancer hits home.”

To support my participation in the Boston Marathon this year and give to Christopher’s Haven, please visit my fundraising page here, where you can make a secure online donation. Or you can donate by check — just make it payable to Christopher’s Haven and mail it to me at 33 Oakwood Avenue, Sudbury, MA 01776. Thank you for your kindness, generosity and support.

How Over 100 Boston-Area Restaurants Use Twitter

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Cheeseburger-and-FriesYou’ve probably heard of them. You may even have been to them. But do you follow them on Twitter?

They are the over 100 different restaurants in the Boston area that you will find tweeting about eating that are included in a list I created recently on Twitter.

Union Oyster HouseFrom a great gastropub like Deep Ellum to a classic steakhouse like Abe & Louie’s, a legendary sports bar like the Cask ‘n Flagon to a highly acclaimed Italian bistro like Figs, they’re some of the most popular restaurants around, places you can count on for good food and good times.

In this Twitter list, you can read what these restaurants are up to in 140 characters or less. You can learn more about their menus, their specials, their personalities and their histories. You can see some ridiculously amazing food and drink pictures, too.

Kudos to all these dining establishments for putting themselves out there on Twitter. Surely they’re benefitting by being more accessible, communicative, timely and relevant…by being just plain more social. Check them out in the embedded timeline below. Click on their Twitter handles and follow those you like best. Reading their tweets will tell you a lot about their eats.


Note: This post, “How Over 100 Boston-Area Restaurants Use Twitter,” was originally published on the Overdrive Interactive blog on January 27, 2014. To read the post there, click here.

I’m Running the 2014 Boston Marathon for Christopher’s Haven

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Boston Strong

For me, the day started out like any other Patriots’ Day on which I’ve run the Boston Marathon, but it ended not with the anticipated feelings of joy and accomplishment. Instead, I went to sleep that night restless, worried and overwhelmed by a sense of sadness and shock over the two devastating bombs that had exploded near the finish line on Boylston Street.

That’s how a blog post of mine began on April 21 of last year, just six days after the 2013 Boston Marathon, an otherwise glorious event that was tragically marred by two destructive explosions along Boylston Street.

I wanted to put down in words while it was still fresh in my mind everything I felt about my experience that day.

2013 Boston Marathon The disappointment I felt in having my journey interrupted less than a mile away from the finish line didn’t matter. The thought of all the innocent victims of that senseless demonstration of violence and how their lives had been not just interrupted, but changed forever in such an awful way, was overwhelming.

Indeed, my excitement and enthusiasm over running the marathon was turned into sorrow and sadness for those who were in harm’s way and for a world in which terrorism is for some crazy reason so commonplace.

This year will be another story. This year, I plan to finish what I started that infamous day and go the entire 26.2 miles.

That’s right, on April 21, 2014, I’ll once again be joining thousands of other determined runners for that heralded, historic trek from Hopkinton to Boston.

It’ll be the 12th time I’ve run the Boston Marathon, my 15th marathon overall. And because I’ve been there done that so many times before, I know I’ll be tired and sore most of the way. But any aches and pain I have to endure that day will be nothing, of course, compared to what the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings experienced last year…or the hurt and heartache that kids with cancer – and their families – have to withstand.

Boston Marathon CollageYes, I’ll be running the Boston Marathon this year with the bombing victims on my mind, and for the kids who stay at Christopher’s Haven with their families while they are being treated for cancer at a hospital in Boston.

Christopher’s Haven is a ridiculously cool nonprofit organization that was founded in 2001 by a ridiculously cool guy, Dan Olsen, who is a three-time cancer survivor himself. While receiving treatments at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dan met families struggling to care for a child battling cancer while also facing the staggering costs of extended stays near the hospital. After surviving his third bout with the disease, Dan wanted to do something to help families like those he’d met. His dream was to create a haven for young cancer patients and their families, a place that would free them from any concerns about lodging, making it possible for them to focus on their children’s treatment and recovery. In Christopher’s Haven, Dan’s dream came true.

So this year’s Boston Marathon will be extra special for me. The victims of last year’s bombings will be on my mind every step of the way, but so will the kids who stay at Christopher’s Haven. To give to this nonprofit organization, please visit my fundraising page here, where you can make a secure online donation. Or you can donate by check — just make it payable to Christopher’s Haven and mail it to me at 33 Oakwood Avenue, Sudbury, MA 01776.

Your donation will mean a lot to me, but it will mean much, much more to the boys and girls who have to undergo cancer treatment in Boston and their families who stay with them at Christopher’s Haven. Thank you for kindness, generosity and support.
Thank You
To learn more about Christopher’s Haven, click here.

Here’s what I’ve written about running the Boston Marathon for charity in the past…

Running the Boston Marathon for Charity: A Personal Fundraising Initiative (Part One)
January 18, 2005
Running the Boston Marathon for Charity: A Personal Fundraising Initiative (Part Two)
January 24, 2005
Running the Boston Marathon for Charity: A Personal Fundraising Initiative (Part Three)
January 31, 2005
Running the Boston Marathon for Charity: A Personal Fundraising Initiative (Part Four)
February 7, 2005
Running the Boston Marathon for Charity: A Personal Fundraising Initiative (Update)
April 12, 2005
Running the Boston Marathon for Children’s Hospital Boston — and Hailey
October 31, 2005
Running the Boston Marathon for Children’s Hospital Boston — Update
January 30, 2006
Please Sponsor Bob’s Boston Marathon Run for Children’s Hospital Boston
April 6, 2006
A Memorable Boston Marathon for More Reasons Than One
April 19, 2006
Running the Boston Marathon for Charity (Yes, Again)
January 2, 2009
I’m Running the Boston Marathon for Christopher’s Haven
January 25, 2010
I’m Running the 2013 Boston Marathon for Christopher’s Haven
January 12, 2013

Using Signage to Drive Social Media Traffic

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Vineyard-VinesIn this day and age, most businesses and brands realize the importance of having a presence on social media. However, far too many still don’t know how to attract an audience to these channels. They either mistakenly subscribe to the notion that if they build it, they will come, or they simply have no idea how to drive such traffic.

Social Media SignsThe good news is there are countless ways to generate more likes, followers, fans and friends. You can cross-promote your Twitter account on Facebook and vice versa. You can put your social media credentials on your customers’ receipts. You can promote your social channels on your own website, on your business cards, in your email signature, in a company newsletter and even in paid advertising campaigns.

But perhaps the easiest and simplest way you can call attention to your social channels is to put up a sign asking people to connect with you there. You can put this sign up on a wall, in the lobby, on the checkout counter, at a trade show booth, wherever your customers and prospects are most likely to see it.

For instance, The Shops at Prudential Center in Boston has a sign up along one of its walkways, as does the Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough, pointing patrons to their social channels. There’s a sign on the wall outside of Best Buy in Framingham, calling attention to their presence on Facebook and Twitter. I even noticed a sign in my dentist’s office — Millbrook Smiles — in Sudbury, asking patients to like them on Facebook.

The idea is to make sure your most passionate supporters in real life (IRL) are just as loyal to you on social media. The point is to use strong calls to action and good directions to drive them to where you live on Twitter, Facebook and the like.
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Note: This post, “Using Signage to Drive Social Media Traffic,” was originally published on the Overdrive Interactive blog on January 12, 2014. To read the post there, click here.

How I Use Twitter to Keep Up with the Weather

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Snow-SceneOver the years, I’ve created nearly 20 lists on Twitter, each of which you can see – and subscribe to – on my Twitter account here. I’ve put together a list of marketing, advertising and PR agencies, a list of nonprofit organizations and a list of those who have attended the Sudbury Social Tweetup, a monthly networking event in Sudbury (MA) that I co-host with FeedBlitz‘s Phil Hollows.

The biggest list I’ve created consists of 563 (and counting) media people, companies, outlets and organizations in and around Boston. And the smallest one is comprised of more than 20 Boston-area meteorologists, a list I turn to quite frequently to keep up with the latest weather forecasts, especially lately, given the fact that we’re in the throes of yet another cold, snowy New England winter.

You can check out the activity on this list below. Using a list widget, I embedded it as a public Twitter timeline, which means you’re seeing the tweets from members of this list right here on this blog post in real time. You’re getting the latest word in local weather from @nellyNECN, @pbouchardon7, @HarveyWCVB, @FOX25Shiri, @BarryWBZ and many others.

This is how I use to Twitter to keep up with the weather all year round. And how you can, too.


Note: This post, “How I Use Twitter to Keep Up with the Weather,” was originally published on the Overdrive Interactive blog on December 30, 2013. To read the post there, click here.